Soft lenses are larger than
gas permeable contact lenses
Popular because of their supple nature, soft disposable contacts have become the lens modality of choice for many patients. When fit by a competent eye doctor, soft disposable contact lenses provide excellent comfort and are available in most prescriptions for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and bifocals. Contacts are also available to change the color of the eye to a wide variety of colors. Made of special water-absorbing plastics, soft disposable contacts interfere very little with the normal "breathing" process of your cornea. This is important from an eye health standpoint because the cornea is the only external tissue in your body that must derive its oxygen supply from the atmosphere.
Soft disposable contacts are similar to the old, conventional soft contact lenses, except technology enables them to be manufactured at a fraction of the cost. By discarding the contacts at regular, planned time intervals, infections and other wearing complications occur with less frequency. There are some patients who still require a conventional soft contact lens, but the vast majority can be fitted with disposables.
There are contact lenses approved for continuous, overnight wear. We discourage patients from regularly sleeping in their contacts. We feel this wearing schedule is more prone to eye infections. We will discuss your individual situation at the time of your exam.
Types of Soft and Soft Disposable Contact Lenses
- Standard Single Vision Contact Lenses (2 weeks to 1-month replacement)
- Higher Oxygen Contact Lenses for Dryer Eyes
- Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism (vastly improved over previous contact lenses for correcting those patients with astigmatism)
- Multifocal (Bifocal) Contact Lenses (these work very well for many patients over 40)
- Extended Wear Contact Lenses (for overnight wear)
- Tinted Contact Lenses (wide array of lenses to change eye color)
- Daily Disposable Contacts (these work for those who have a lot of allergies or who only wear lenses part-time or who have very dry eyes)
Examples of different colored tinted contact lenses
Professional Fitting Is Required
Dr. Patadia giving advice on contact lenses
The fitting properties of a lens are determined by several factors including lens curvature, diameter, and power. The all-important factor is that the contacts must fit well enough to center properly but not so tight to prevent an adequate oxygen supply to the cornea. At Skowron Eye Care, we take photographs (corneal topography) of the eye to give us the exact curve of the cornea. We perform tear testing to ensure you have sufficient tears to support a contact lens.
Not All Contacts are the Same
There are many different brands or designs of disposable contact lenses: Each manufacturer claims to be better than the next, and each does its best to ensure that its lens is the one that is chosen. Considerable professional judgment is required for proper contact lens fitting and related follow-up eye care. Frequently, a contact lens must be worn several weeks to determine if the oxygen supply is sufficient and the eye is adapting properly.
We Only Care About YOU!
At Skowron Eye Care, we have no allegiance to any manufacturer, and our choice of lens is not influenced by any financial incentives proposed by the manufacturers. We use our professional judgment to determine which lens will be the safest for your eye and provide you with the best vision.
You'll Learn Proper Care and Handling
In addition to the initial fitting, we will give you thorough instructions on lens care and handling. This is something patients are frequently concerned about and is easily mastered with a little practice. The cleaning procedures are simple and will be explained and demonstrated during an instruction session with one of our staff members. (Solutions we recommend are Optifree Express by Alcon, ReNu by Bausch and Lomb, Clear Care by Ciba Vision, and Complete by Allergan.) If you need additional help, we will schedule more instruction sessions at no additional charge until you feel comfortable and competent.
Dr. Streiff giving a patient a sample of a different type of contact lens solution.
Follow-up Care Is the Key to Long-Term Success
We provide the most important ingredient for long-term success with contact lenses: on-going professional care. Like any medical device, contact lenses must be monitored on a regular basis. This ensures that your corneas are healthy and the lenses fit properly. The number of follow-up visits may vary due to the complexity of the case.
Notice the bumps (dots) on the surface of this soft contact lens. This is from a patient not replacing their lenses in a timely manner. Ultimately, they will end up with an eye infection. That is why follow-up care is so important to safe, healthy contact lens wear.
Photo was taken by Skowron Eye Care (SEC)
Office Procedure for Fitting Contact Lenses:
Thorough case history to rule out any pre-existing conditions that prohibit wearing lenses, such as allergies, sinus conditions, medications, and work or home environment (dryness, dust etc).
Laney performing autorefraction
Dr. John evaluating a contact lens fit
- The computer verifies your prescription so we can provide you with the clearest vision possible.
- It minimizes and in some cases eliminates the need to ask, "Which is better one or two?"
SLIT LAMP EVALUATION (microscope)
- Documents and monitors any existing conditions that would prevent successful wear
- Enables us to monitor unwanted growth of blood vessels
- Allows us to check for any corneal inflammation
Tear testing to ensure the proper quality and quantity of tears are available to provide comfortable lens wear.
CORNEAL TOPOGRAPHY (photographs/maps the front of the eye)
- Corneal topography, using one of our higher tech instruments, maps out the shape of the eye.
- It enables us to accurately design the shape, size, and curvature of the contact lens.
- It determines proper fitting alignment.
- It detects any unwanted distortions or warpage which would indicate a lens change.
Carol performing corneal topography
Dr. Skowron explaining the
responsibilities needed for safe,
healthy contact lens wear.
After compiling all the data, we will discuss:
- What your contact lens options are.
- What your chances of success may be.
- What your expectations should be.
After being thoroughly informed, WE will decide together whether contact lenses are the option you would wish to pursue.
Kezia giving instructions
on contact lens insertion
You will have a 30-45 minute individual session to instruct you on:
- Insertion and removal techniques
- Wearing schedule (we start with a few hours a day and gradually increase)
- Care of your contact lenses (how and what types of solution to use)
- Follow up evaluation, scheduled in one week
What to Expect from Soft Disposable Contact Lenses
Comfort - At first there will be a slight sensation….almost like a tickle Soft contact lenses become barely noticeable after a few days. If they remain noticeable, then there needs to be a change in your regimen. That will be addressed at your follow-up visits.
Vision - Regular disposable soft lenses should provide almost immediate clear vision. Toric lenses that correct for astigmatism and bifocal lenses may take a couple of weeks or so to fully clear. Excessive close work may cause the lenses to blur more, as they may dry out due to patients lowered blink rate while reading or working on the computer.
Four Elements Necessary
For Successful Contact Lens Wear:
Your desire to wear the lenses and your willingness to go through the normal adaptation period. This includes adjusting to not wearing glasses, as well as adapting to contact lenses.
The Right Type Eyes for your Contact Lenses
Naturally, your eyes must have the proper physical characteristics in terms of corneal curvature and lens prescription. All patients are carefully evaluated before contact lenses are recommended.
A Good Fit
Simply put, a good fit is dependent on the clinical expertise of your eye doctor.
CORNEAL WARPAGE FROM A POORLY FITTING CONTACT LENS
Notice the clear rings on the cornea on the left vs. the out of round or warped rings on the right from a poorly fitting lens
Photos were taken by Skowron Eye Care (SEC)
You must adhere to the prescribed wearing schedules, lens handling techniques, and cleaning procedures.
Makeup Tips for Contact Lens Wearers
Contact lens wear can be hindered by many factors, including one that is often overlooked – eye makeup. Here are a few tips that can lead to more successful contact lens wear.
- Avoid hair sprays and spray deodorant as the spray may go into your eyes.
- Use only water based mascara and eye makeup remover labeled hypoallergenic or for sensitive eyes. Avoid waterproof mascara as it contains mineral spirits and petroleum distillates which are irritating.
- Choose cream eyeshadows because they do not create particle fallout like powdered shadows.
- Put your contacts in before applying cosmetics to avoid picking up makeup residue.
- Never apply eyeliner to the inner eyelid margins as it can cause pore blockage. Soft crayon-type pencil liners are less apt to cause flaking than liquids.
- Carefully select makeup remover. A water-based product will help avoid the accumulation of grease around the eye and do an excellent job of thoroughly removing water-based mascara.
- For more makeup tips for contact lens wearers, click here.
Tips for why Soft Contact Lenses Tear
If your contact lens tears in the middle when you take it out of the case or blister pack, chances are you damaged the lens with your fingernail when you took it out. It might be just a partial tear and will not fully tear for a few days.
- Try spilling the solution out of the case and very gently grabbing the edge of the lens. Even very slight pressure from your fingernails can tear a lens.
If your contacts tear on the edge, chances are you are getting the contact lenses caught in the case when closing.
- Try putting the contact in the case first and then filling it to the point where the lens is submerged. Don't fill the case up to the top.
Of course, there is always the possibility of getting a bad batch. If you are having problems, please call the office and we will do whatever it takes to remedy the problem.
If you're interested in contact lenses, call your Elmhurst, IL Eye Doctor by calling (630) 834-6244 today!